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Sony Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f3.5-4.5 ZA Gordon Laing, August 2007
 
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Sony DT 16-80mm wide angle coverage

The Sony DT 16-80mm is designed as a high quality general purpose lens for Alpha DSLR owners. Sporting an equivalent range of 24-120mm, it zooms both wider and longer than the 27-105mm equivalent range of the kit lens. This may not sound like a great difference when written down, but provides significantly greater flexibility in practice.

To illustrate the coverage of the DT 16-80mm compared to the DT 18-70mm, we fitted each to an Alpha A100 body mounted on a tripod and shot exactly the same scene from the same position, first zoomed all the way out, then zoomed all the way in. Below are coverage shots taken with each lens zoomed-out to their widest angle.

By looking around the edges of the frames below, it’s clear the DT 16-80mm’s wide angle coverage is comfortably greater than the kit lens. This equivalent focal length of 24mm not only captures a bigger field of view when you can't step back any further, but can be used for more dramatic wide angle photography at close range – it’s a really useful focal length to have at your disposal whether you're shooting indoors or out.

Sony DT 16-80mm with Alpha A100
Sony DT 18-70mm with Alpha A100
Sony DT 16-80mm at 16mm f8
Sony DT 18-70mm at 18mm f8
16-80mm at 16mm, f8 (24mm equivalent)  

18-70mm at 18mm, f8 (27mm equivalent)


Sony DT 16-80mm telephoto coverage

Next up are examples of each lens zoomed-in to their maximum focal lengths, pictured below, and again it’s clear the DT 16-80mm has a much longer reach, giving it greater flexibility when shooting portraits or tighter crops of distant or small subjects.

The 24-120mm equivalent focal length of the DT 16-80mm is one of the most useful to have in a general purpose lens and one of our own favourite ranges. Of course personal preferences vary, but if you’re into wide angle, you’d be happy to sacrifice a longer telephoto for a 24mm equivalent. The good news if you're upgrading from the kit lens though is you win at both ends of the range.

Sony DT 16-80mm with Alpha A100
Sony DT 18-70mm with Alpha A100
Sony DT 16-80mm at 80mm f8
Sony DT 18-70mm at 70mm f8
16-80mm at 80mm, f8 (120mm equivalent)   18-70mm at 70mm, f8 (105mm equivalent)

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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